Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko took part in a public Menorah lighting ceremony on Independence Square in the center of Kyiv bringing the Chanuka miracle to the attention of thousand of Jews.
In Maidan Square – the central square in the heart of Kyiv, the largest menorah in Europe was lit on the fifth candle of Chanuka by the Ambassador of Israel to Ukraine, Mr. Michael Brotsky.
Many ambassadors from all over the world stationed in Kyiv honored the event with their participation, among them: the ambassadors of the USA, Canada, Italy, Austria, France, Argentina, Great Britain, Slovenia and Sweden. The lighting was also attended by the mayor of Kyiv Vitaly Klitschko.
Rabbi Meir Stambler, chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine (FJCU) which organized the lighting, said: “We are in a dark time, in great darkness, in a war of light against darkness both here in Ukraine and in Israel, but it is forbidden We have to raise our hands. With God’s help, like the Maccabees, we too will be able to banish this great darkness and gain the light of redemption.”
According to the head of the organization, Rabbi Raphael Rotman, who organizes the event every year and is responsible for a series of public Chanuka lightings in Kiev every evening said “this year we saw the desire of many more ambassadors to participate in the lighting out of sympathy with the war taking place in Israel.”
And in the meantime, in all the main cities in Ukraine, including Kharkiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Zaporozhye, Nikolaev, and more, huge menorah lightings were held every night in the main squares of the cities, with the participation of hundreds of menorahs and the organization of the local Chabad shluchim.
At the same time, 1,200 huge billboards in 82 cities all over Ukraine invited the country’s Jews to celebrate Chanuka and add light in these dark days. It is estimated that over 10 million residents in Ukraine were exposed to the empowering messages emanating from the signs and to all Chanuka activities.